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The Mandala Suites 3.5

Mitte, Berlin, Germany

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Ideally positioned to explore the city's top tourist destinations
  • All suites are spacious and classically furnished 
  • Large, well-equipped kitchens suitable for everyday cooking
  • Bathrooms are large, with generously sized shower/tub combos 
  • Gym has cardio machines, free weights, and gorgeous view over Berlin
  • Spa offers massages (including en-suite) and sauna
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Free laundry room with washer/dryers and iron
  • Plenty of restaurants and grocery stores within walking distance 

Cons

  • Rooms are fairly bland
  • No full restaurant or bar 

Bottom Line

The upper-middle-range Mandala Suites is a great apartment-style option thanks to its second-to-none location in central Mitte and quality amenities. Its 81 rooms are suitable for those whose work calls them to Berlin, as well as tourists attracted by relatively low room rates and self-catering facilities. Top attractions and restaurants are a short walk away, and access to two subway lines make exploring farther-flung neighborhoods easy. Rooms are large and spacious, decorated in classic furnishings, and many offer balconies with excellent views of the streets below. Those looking for a more boutique feel might do well to look into Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte, which is in the same neighborhood. 

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Scene

More serviced apartment than hotel, the property attracts business and value-seeking leisure travelers.

One of Berlin's most well-known service apartments, The Mandala Suites functions more as short-term apartment lodging than a traditional hotel. Though lacking a full restaurant, the amenities it does have appeal to its business-traveler clientele: a swish breakfast spot, spa with sauna and massage service, and a large meeting room. Travelers who prefer practicality and value will likely enjoy the visit more than those who look for frills or high design. Given its central location and value price tag, guests tend to be a mixture of business travelers and tourists, including families. 

The overall design in the common areas is sanitarily modern: The lobby is comfortable but bland, repeating the same wood-and-cream furniture that are in the rooms; the hallways have wood floors or tan carpets with white walls; and the central atrium the units surround is quite cold -- although lots of sunlight comes in, the polished gray flooring and shiny white walls create a stark, icy appearance. 

Location

Excellent setting for both business and leisure travelers, close to the city's top sights

The Mandala Suites are ideally positioned in Mitte for leisure and business travelers. Close to both the U2 and the U6 subway lines, the hotel itself is also centrally located amid the city's top tourist must-dos. Many of the sights can be explored on foot: Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag (15-minute walk); the massive Tiergarten Park, directly across from the Gate; the poignant Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (12-minute walk); the Mall of Berlin (11-minute walk) and its surrounding Potsdamer Platz; Checkpoint Charlie and the Wall Museum (six-minute walk); and the wonderful contemporary art museum Berlinische Galerie (15-minute walk). Keep in mind that the area can be busy with other tourists (it's like New York's Midtown), but Berlin is generally a safe city and self-aware visitors shouldn't have issues. 

Plenty of eating and drinking options are within walking distance in any direction, though budget travelers may want to stay away from the Checkpoint Charlie area's inflated prices. Fine dining at Austernbank (seven minutes by foot) and Asian fusion AVAN (six minutes) are both solid options. For self-catering groceries, there are an Aldi and Kaiser's (slightly more upmarket) in the Mall of Berlin. And yes, there's a Starbucks right outside the door. 

Rooms

Spacious suites with large bathrooms and good-sized kitchenettes

While the rest of the hotel has some sexy spaces, the rooms don't quite live up -- although they tick the boxes for a comfortable stay. Studios and suites are spacious and simply but adequately furnished. The classic design consists of tan carpet, traditional wood furniture, neutral tone linens, and white walls. Black-and-white framed prints, patterned throws, and vases add some charm. The marble bathrooms are big, with oversized shower/tub combos, bathrobes and slippers, hairdryers, and toiletries. Business travelers will be happy with the large desk, charging ports, and (somewhat retro) stationery kit. While flat-screen TVs and safes are provided, ironing facilities and full-length mirrors are notably missing.

Kitchens are large and adequate for everyday cooking, with lots of counter space and cabinetry, a microwave, dishwasher, two-hob burner, and sink. All rooms feature queen- or king-size beds. Some rooms have small balconies, but they're typically unfurnished. 

Features

Primarily catering to business travelers with a spa, gym, posh breakfast lounge, and meeting room

A major hotel-like perk in this apartment-style property is the on-site roof spa and gym, where guests can get massages (or book them en-suite), hit up the sauna, and work out. Although the gym is small, the view from the cardio machines looking out over the city is gorgeous (hello, morning workout motivation). There's no full restaurant, but a pricey, well-reviewed breakfast is available in the swish top-floor lounge with more lovely vistas. There's also a large, fully equipped meeting room and lounge available for use. The table has space for 14 people, and there's an attached lounge area for breaks between decision-making and brainstorming, plus a laptop and printer for use. A laundry room with washers, dryers, and an iron is available for free.

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Address

Friedrichstr. 185-190, Berlin 10117, Germany

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